Looking at the statistics we see that sales over the last 2 years are maintaining an increase of over 30% in annual sales ending in October 2013 over the same time frame in 2011. During this time, inventory has dropped 12.4%. Average median prices continue to firm up and are now only less than 1% (.9%) lower than 2011 average median prices. Overall, average median prices are down a modest 11% from the highest average median prices ever recorded in 2008. This is a small loss in home prices compared to many other markets in Canada and the US. The attractiveness of our region continues to attract Buyers from all over the world.
We continue in this 5th year of a falling market with increasing sales and dropping inventory indicating that we are near the end of this down cycle, at a market bottom and progressing towards a gradual recovery. Sales of single family residential homes were up 13% in October of this year over October 2012 and a staggering 40% over October 2011. Inventory of single family residential homes in October of this year was down 4% from October 2012 and down 18% from October 2011. The absorption rate in October of this year rose to 14% leaving 7 months of inventory on the market. The absorption rate in October of this year is up 18% over October 2012 and a staggering 117% over October 2011 when there was 14 months of inventory left on the market.
The market over the next 12 to 18 months will continue to be characterized by gradually increasing sales, followed by lower inventory. Prices will continue to fall very slightly, then firm up (bottom out) and then slowly start to rise. Timing will continue to depend on how the world and national economies fare out over the coming months and we are encrouaged by continued strengthening news out of the US and Europe.
Much of the national news we hear about the real estate market comes from major centres. Please remember that real estate markets are very localized and what happens in one market is not necessarily what is happening in other markets. What is happening in our market right now is very specific to this area and is the information you should base your real estate decisions on.
If you have any questions about the market, please feel free to contact me at any time.